Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Do you believe in ghosts?






My friend April works at a college that is taking over the buildings of what used to be a mental hospital in our city. The land is expansive, the buildings grand and beautiful. Some of the buildings date back to the late 1800s when the hospital was known simply as The Asylum for the Insane. Then name changed a couple of times over the decades to reflect changing views on mental health. The facility was so large that it was largely self-sufficient. The people who lived and worked there even grew their own food.

Of course, there is a dark history and lots of ghost stories to go with the facility's past. As a nursing student I was able to read the files of some of the previous residents while on practium at a psychogeriatric facility.

The kids and I meet April regularly and go for walks on her lunch break. One day she discovered this lovely little park. At the time we didn't know it, but it is actually the hospital's cemetary. There isn't a single marked grave. The only hint as to what is in this park is a very small cenotaph. It is quiet and peaceful here and the view across the valley is stunning. Apparently only the very fortunate got buried here. There are former patients buried all over the grounds of the hospital.

This is the stuff ghost stories are made of.

7 comments:

janelle said...

You're right, it is a beautiful spot. You ought to have mentioned that many a wedding picture has been taken there. We didn't. Todd's comment was "yes, it's beautiful, but I'll know what it used to be."

Mama Bear said...

That is AWESOME.

April said...

Hee hee!! Thanks for posting the pics...I was looking forward to seeing them. :-)

Mariah said...

Awesome pictures. It's a little creepy that none of the graves are marked. Truly the stuff ghost stories are made of.

We have one of those places near where I live. It was an operating farm and it was and still is listed on the plat maps as "The County Farm" It's still used today as a mental health facility, but no longer is it an operating farm (that ended in the 70s.)
They were totally self sufficient.

Ashlee Rose said...

Beautifully terrifying.

Heather said...

I think I'm bothered most by the "buried all over the grounds of the hospital" thing. Not because of creepiness but because.. how awful that someone would die in mental hospital and they'd just go dig a hole and throw 'em in. The way things were handled back in the Old Days is sometimes very very disturbing.

Not Jenny said...

Heather, I agree with you. It is truly shameful how the mentally ill were (and in some cases still are) treated like they are not even people. It hurts my heart to know what happened at that hospital. I hope in it's new life as a college the karma will change around there.